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Robert Silver

Hilarious Monday-morning policy idea Add to ...

Former NDP MP and current candidate for president of the New Democratic Party of Canada Peggy Nash, takes on the state of airlines in Canada today in the Star.

Not surprisingly, the reason Air Canada sucks is the free market. Yup, the next time your experience on AC makes you blow a gasket, you miss that meeting or you don't have your suitcase for the first five-days of your vacation - it's all Adam Smith's fault.

Her solution?

"A modern regulatory system would prevent the dramatic swings in the airline sector by imposing responsible limits on the overall capacity growth of carriers. It would stop the destructive attacks of one company on another through excess capacity. It would also mean our federal government taking an equity stake in Air Canada - not buying the whole company or running the day-to-day operation, but helping with its long-term financial stability."

If I was making list of the 10 worst policy ideas imaginable - both from a substantive and political perspective - having the Canadian government once again take an equity stake in Air Canada while preventing Porter and West Jet from giving people services they actually want would be a lock to make the list.

And Nash's answer to those of us who point to Porter as the counter-point to the mess that is Air Canada?

Not surprisingly, Porter is part of the problem according to Nash:

"Competing companies like West Jet and Porter predictably react by adding more airline capacity to the market, even when travel is declining, in the hope of further damaging Air Canada so that they can gain more market share. This illogical behaviour is encouraged under our current 'anything goes' air travel regime."

Ah yes, the illogical behaviour of trying to gain more market share. Fools! What are they thinking?!? Making their customers happy, adding more routes and flight times all the while filling up their planes on a regular basis at a price that allows them to grow while making their shareholders a reasonable profit? Why, this isn't a business plan for long-term success (the way, oh, I don't know, federal government ownership is), it is "illogical behaviour."

Amazing that more people don't take the NDP's economic policy seriously.

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